Washington experts: Iran has fissile material for 50 nuclear bombs
debkafile‘s Washington sources quote experts familiar with the Iranian program maintain that it is far more advanced than the US and Israeli governments are willing to admit.
On March 4, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy published a paper with two important disclosures:
1. Iran has enough fissile material available for making up to 50 nuclear bombs. One of the paper’s authors, William Schneider, undersecretary of state in the Reagan administration, who has made a study of Iran and its nuclear strategy, estimates that Tehran can go from low enriched uranium to weapons-grade uranium in a relative brief period of time, perhaps a year or so.
Israeli officials, while evading action to curb a nuclear-armed Iran, now go about suggesting that the Jewish state can live in its shadow. They discount the crude threats coming from Iran and argue that Israel is not really the Islamic Republic primary objective; its true goal is subjugation of the Sunni Muslim world.
Another part of this argument is that Tehran will not go into production of single bombs but wait until it can produce batches of 10-15 bombs or nuclear warheads.
This proposition is knocked over by the Washington think tank’s report and the briefing delivered to the Israeli cabinet by Israel’s intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, Sunday, March 8.
Both confirm that Iran is no more than months away from being able to start a nuclear stockpile.
2. Schneider estimates that Israel will face the moment of no-return on action against a nuclear-armed Iran when Russia begins delivering sophisticated S-300 missile interceptors to Tehran. Not if but when, he says, although Israeli officials suggest the Russian-Iran deal has not been finalized.
The US experts’ presumption is that these interceptors once installed will make it almost impossible for the US or Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear sites.